An expansive three bedroom plus study family home was requested by our client for this large Westmere site. They came with an appreciation of dark timbers, Japanese design and Californian Modernism.
Within the rapidly changing neighbourhood our design relates to the rhythms and scale of the historical timber clad villas with their street facing verandas, picket fences and balustrades. While the house is large, the proportions of the frontage closely relate to the Victorian era houses in the street.

The two storied main form has a re-interpretation of the classic street front veranda featuring a series of fixed and moveable screens to conceal and/or reveal the spaces behind. This timber-battened form has been twisted and folded to suit both the interior layout and the planning envelope to form a dramatic, shapely presence to the street.

The interior features a dramatic double height entry with stairs and a bridge, the kitchen dining area, cinema/lounge, and upstairs the bedrooms. The house is punctuated by shafts of light coming from unexpected places and filtered through screens, and a continual movement from dark to light spaces.

Sitting either side of the main volume are two smaller forms. The first contains a living room open at one end to a deck area, and at the other looking dramatically along a lap pool towards a studio at the far end of the site. The second of these lower wings contains the entry, service areas including sauna, and a study/guest bedroom facing out over a private garden.

This house is a continuation of our interest in sculptural forms, crafted interiors, and creative use of light, while also developing a strong relationship to the landscape as an extension of the architecture. The design also builds on the idea of ‘themes’ used throughout the detail of window joinery, cabinetry, screens, and balustrades to reinforce the broader design ideas.

  • Winner — NZIA New Zealand Award for Architecture